Most of the time, coins depict former politicians or other notable leaders. However, there are far more ghoulish and macabre coins that come to mind this time of year. Vampires, UFOs, and pirates are all featured on coins. So if you’re spellbound by creepy coins, read on—at your own risk.
Romanian Dracula Coin
Most of us are familiar with Bram Stoker’s depiction of the vampire Dracula. But did you know Dracula was based on a real ruler? The tyrant, known as Vlad III, was born to a family of warlords. He was the Son of Vlad Dracul, whose name was taken from the “Order of Dragons,” which was a group formed by the Holy Roman Empire to protect Christianity. The nickname “Vlad the Impaler” was given to him posthumously, because impaling rivals on spikes was his favorite form of punishment. His legendary cruelty included unspeakably gruesome acts, and his thirst for blood inspired Bram Stoker’s famous vampire. In the 1500s, a Romanian coin was released featuring a design of Vlad the Impaler himself. The original coin is incredibly rare and sells for upwards of $4,000. Centuries later, in 2011, the National Bank of Romania issued a commemorative coin featuring the famed warlord. The circulated coin from 2011 can be found online for less than $5.
French UFO Coin
In 1680, a French coin was released that mystifies numismatic experts to this day. The coin’s design features what appears to be a UFO hovering over a treed landscape. The coin is known as a jeton, which wasn’t intended as currency per se. It was either used as currency for a game, or as a tool to teach people how to count money. Former president of the American Numismatic Association, Kenneth E. Bresset, owns the coin, and is captivated by its mystery. Bresset commented on the design after years of studying its origins. “[…]the design on one side certainly looks like it could be a flying saucer in the clouds over the countryside,” Bresset stated. “Is it supposed to be a UFO of some sort, or a symbolic representation of the Biblical Ezekiel’s wheel? After 50 years of searching, I’ve heard of only one other example of it, and nothing to explain the unusual design.” Whether this coin’s design is a Biblical reference, or a depiction of a UFO, one thing’s for sure: it remains a mystery. This coin is nearly impossible to find, and as such, the price is hard to estimate.
Pirates of the Caribbean Coins
Though in modern times we may think of Captain Jack Sparrow as a somewhat benevolent figure, there was a time from the 1500s to 1700s when pirates terrorized the seas. The New Zealand mint commemorated this era with the Real Pirates of the Caribbean coin set in 2011. These coins are one ounce of .999 silver, and were released as currency for $2 on Niue Island. The set can be found on eBay for just under $500. The set includes the four most notorious pirates from this time, which has come to be known as “The Golden Age of Piracy.” The pirates featured are Blackbeard (AKA Jack Sparrow), Calico Jack, Bartholomew Roberts, and Henry Avery.
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